Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- The top game environment on the slate. This game left me feeling exactly as JM relayed in the Angles email on Thursday (quite clearly the best expected game environment on the slate, let’s not overthink things here).
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a sprained MCL in Week 5, leaving the Kansas City backfield to Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon.
- In addition to CEH being out, all of cornerback Charvarius Ward, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and offensive lineman Joe Thuney have yet to practice this week for the Chiefs.
- Washington’s pass-catching corps appears extremely thin, with tight end Logan Thomas out and Curtis Samuel and Cam Sims unlikely to play.
- These defenses rank as the first and second-worst defenses in points allowed over expectation this season; both teams rank bottom five in the league in drive success rate allowed on defense.
How Kansas City Will Try To Win ::
Kansas City’s 62% situation-neutral pass rate through five weeks ranks 11th in the league, but, as we’ve explored in this space previously, they have one of the higher pass rates on second down. When we then consider the injury to starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the extreme pass-funnel nature of the Washington defense, we can assume with a great deal of confidence that we see inflated pass rates from the Chiefs this week. The beauty of this Chiefs team lies in their offensive and defensive efficiency metrics. The Chiefs rank first in the NFL in offensive efficiency and dead last in the NFL in defensive efficiency, a potent combination when considering their potential game environments. Finally, keep an eye on the expected status of Tyreek Hill this week, who has yet to practice.
It’s anyone’s guess as to the potential running back oppourtunity dispersal in the absence of CEH, but we’re likely to see Darrel Williams operate as the early down rusher with Jerrick McKinnon utilized as the change of pace and third down back. The matchup on the ground yields a below average 4.185 net-adjusted line yards metric and the standard 15-18 running back opportunities seen by CEH over the first five weeks are likely to be split amongst the remaining backs. I’d tentatively expect 12-14 running back opportunities for Williams with most of them being rushes and eight to 10 for McKinnon with likely a handful of targets.
Like we alluded to above, it is likely we see increased pass rates from the Chiefs this week. Not only that, but the matchup tilts in favor of the pass as well as Washington has allowed a massive 11.6 average yards per completion and moderate 64.64% completion rate in coverage. Patrick Mahomes somehow ranks towards the bottom of the league in intended air yards per pass attempt this season, but the biggest draw is in the expected efficiency. Washington has surrendered the second most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position and second most points over expectation overall. Tyreek Hill’s status is one to monitor. His absence would likely mean increased snap rates for Byron Pringle, who profiles the best to attempt to replicate Cheetah’s routes and profile, leaving both Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson’s roles largely unchanged as 70-80% snap rate players. The biggest boost as far as expected volume goes would likely fall to tight end Travis Kelce, but we can expect Kansas City to continue to attack vertically with the remaining wide receivers as well. Should Tyreek play, it is likely he is doing so at a “healthy enough” level of health to warrant strong consideration.
How Washington Will Try To Win ::
Washington’s balanced offense has been hit or miss from an efficiency standpoint with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. I expect running back Antonio Gibson to play this weekend, while wide receivers Cam Sims and Curtis Samuel have already been ruled out and rookie wide receiver Dyami Brown is legitimately questionable. With every-down tight end Logan Thomas also out, expect a narrowed dispersal of volume in a matchup where pass volume should be plentiful. We spoke to Washington’s shortcomings against opposing quarterbacks earlier, well, Kansas City is the only team to allow more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and more total points allowed over expectation. Giddy up.
The matchup on the ground yields an average 4.345 net-adjusted line yards metric and should be considered a plus matchup for the Football Team. Expect Antonio Gibson to continue playing through a fracture in his shin, which is reportedly somehow not painful. Gibson has seen between 14 and 25 (first game of the season) running back opportunities in each game this year, which should be considered his standard range of outcomes. He is obviously more likely to land towards the top end of that range in neutral to positive game scripts while more likely to land towards the low end of that range in negative game scripts. Behind Gibson, expect the standard change of pace and third-down duties to fall to JD McKissic, who should also serve as the two-minute back and negative game script back. The Chiefs have allowed 29.6 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, including filtering 34 targets to the position through five games. Considering the dearth of viable pass-catchers, it doesn’t take a large stretch of the imagination to envision a scenario where McKissic saunters into double-digit target territory in negative game flows here.
Speaking of the dearth of pass-catching options, wide receiver Terry McLaurin and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones should be the sole remaining every-down pass-catchers this week, with some combination of Dyami Brown (if healthy), DeAndre Carter, and Dax Milne seeing meaningful snaps. Terry McLaurin has surpassed 11 targets in three of five games and is highly likely to do so again here, while Ricky Seals-Jones saw nine targets in his first full game as the starter and is likely to pierce double-digit looks as well. Realistically, there is a scenario where the trio of McLaurin, RSJ, and McKissic sees 30 targets combined if the game script tilts the Football Team pass-heavy sooner rather than later. There just aren’t many healthy bodies remaining here.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
It’s easy to envision a game scenario where the Chiefs completely wipe the Football Team off the field, but equally as likely is this game developing into a back-and-forth, shootout-style affair. More important than the actual likeliest game flow is the idea that the Chiefs should be primarily attacking through the air. This is the main realization that affects the rest of this game. So, instead of a likeliest game flow, we’re going to explore the “likeliest plan of attack transferred to DFS decision-making tree”. Because the Chiefs are likeliest to attack primarily through the air here, and because we know they are likely to find success in doing so, we can make the conclusion that there will be additional plays available for both teams and that the Chiefs will be able to score fairly quickly. If the Chiefs are able to score fairly quickly, then Washington will be charged with keeping pace. The best way for them to do so is likely to begin on the ground but could turn away from that avenue of attack fairly quickly. If they are forced into aerial aggression (which they have shown the propensity and willingness to do) early in the first half, the vast majority of that pass game work is likeliest to flow through three players: Terry McLaurin, Ricky Seals-Jones, and JD McKissic. Although unlikely, a tributary scenario involves Washinton scoring on the ground early, which would set Antonio Gibson up to approach 20 running back opportunities and lower the likelihood of a boost in receiving usage for McKissic.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- KC & WAS have allowed the most points & highest rates of scoring drives through five weeks
- KC & WAS have allowed the 2nd & 5th most yds through five weeks
- KC & WAS have allowed the 3rd & 5th most first downs through five weeks
- KC & WAS have allowed the 4th & 5th most pass yds through five weeks
- Four points higher than next closest game total: LAC-BAL (51.5) // KC-WAS (55.5)
- WAS ranks 29th in defensive pass DVOA, and the last three QBs have all scored 4+ TDs
- Mahomes TDs: 4, 3, 3, 5, 2
- Only KC has allowed more QB DK pts/g than WAS (29.8)
- QB DK pts vs WAS: 18.4 // 29.5 // 40.2 // 29 // 27.8
- Mahomes DK scores when KC implied for 29+ pts on the road: 2018 (30.8, 43.9, 33) // 2019 (35.6, 21) // 2020 (20.6, 25.5, 35.3, 24.6) // 2021 (32.7)
- WAS is facing the 5th highest aDOT, and has allowed the 2nd most completed air yds
- Mahomes on 20+ yd passes: 8/20 for 288 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
- Tyreek Hill has finished above 60 rec yds in 39 of his 52 full games since 2018
- The final game scores of Hill’s 25+ pt scores since 2020: (35-9), (33-31), (35-31), (27-24), (33-27), (38-24), (33-29), (42-30)
- Hill’s 2021 distribution of pts: twice over 40 DK pts and thrice under 15 DK pts
- WAS has already allowed seven WRs over 80 rec yds: Keenan (100), Williams (82:1) // Shep (94) // Beasley (98), Sanders (94:2) // Ridley (80) // Callaway (85:2)
- Slayton & Deonte Harris also finished just short due to dropped wide open TD & 1st Q injury
- WAS has allowed the 4th highest success rate to WRs on the 2nd most WR targets
- Only SEA has allowed more completed air yds than WAS
- KC WRs on 20+ yd tg: Hill (5:201:2, 9tg) // Robinson (1:33:1, 3tg) // Hardman (1:26, 3tg) // Pringle (0:0, 2tg)
- Since 2019, the quartet of Watkins, Hardman, Robinson, Pringle has produced just five scores of 20+ DK pts, and the two biggest came during the absence of Hill
- Since 2020: DK pts when Hill sub-15 DK pts: 22.5 // 30.6 // 22.8 // 26.9 // 20.4 // 17.7
- Since 2020: DK pts when Hill 25+ DK pts: 27.9 // 28.9 // 29.9 // 16.2 // 30.6 // 25.6 // 6.3
- Since 2020: Kelce has produced 70+ yds in 17/23 games, including 11 100yd games and 18 TDs
- WAS has allowed 50+ yds to TEs in four of five games (40+ yds in 5/5)
- Top TEs vs WAS: Cook (5:56) // Knox (4:49:1) // Pitts (4:50)
- Kelce targets this year: 7, 8, 11, 6, 10
- Williams leads McKinnon in rush att 26 to 1 through five weeks
- Williams leads McKinnon in targets 10 to 3 through five weeks
- Rush att without CEH in 2020: Williams (6, 10, 13) // Bell (11, 7, 2)
- Targets without CEH in 2020: Williams (2, 6, 4) // Bell (3, 3, 2)
- RBs with 10+ att vs WAS: Ekeler (15:57:1) // Saquon (13:57) // Moss (13:60), Singletary (11:26) // Davis (13:14) // Kamara (16:71:1)
- Notable RB receiving vs WAS: Moss (3:31:1) // CPatt (5:82:3) // Kamara (5:51:1)
- KC is allowing the most QB DK pts/g (31.1)
- Part of this is due to rushing production allowed to Lamar (16:107:2), Hurts (8:47), Allen (11:59:1)
- Heinicke’s last 3 games on the ground: 8:21:1 // 5:43 // 5:40
- QB, RB TDs vs KC: CLE (0, 3) // BAL (3, 1) // LAC (4, 1) // PHI (2, 1) // BUF (4, 0)
- KC has forced the fewest sacks in the NFL with 7
- Heinicke passing in career starts: 306:1:1 // 336:2:1 // 212:2:2 // 290:3 // 248:0:2
- Heinicke vs NYG/ATL vs BUF/NOR: 626:5:1 vs 460:2:4
- Defensive pass DVOA ranks: NYG (24th), ATL (28th) // BUF (1st), NOR (6th)
- KC ranks 31st in defensive pass DVOA
- McLaurin vs NYG/ATL vs BUF/NOR: 17:230:3 // 8:108
- After allowing the 2nd fewest WR DK pts in 2019 & 2020, KC is allowing the 14th most so far in 2021
- Top WRs vs KC: Landry (5:71, rush TD) // Brown (6:113:1) // Williams (7:122:2), Allen (8:50:1) // Smith (7:122) // Sanders (3:54:2), Diggs (2:69)
- McLaurin targets in Heinicke starts: 14, 7, 13, 11
- 217 underdog WRs averaging 8+ tg since 2014 in 50+ pt total games are averaging 17.73 points
- Some notable WR scores that have fit this criteria in 2021 (DK pts): Cooper (41.9) // Hopkins (26.3) // Jefferson (18.5, 29.8, 20.4) // Ridley (19.3) // Mike Will (36.2) // Kupp (30.6) // Adams (34.2) // Moore (34.9) // Metcalf (16.5, 26.8)
- Since 2014, there have been just 9 instances of a WR averaging 10+ tg playing as a home underdog in a game with a 52+ pt total: Julio (38.1; 30.6) // Odell (23.4) // Evans (9.9) // AB (4.4; 14.9) // Thielen (26.8) // Hopkins (28.3) // Keenan (28.3)
- All four scores below Thielen’s 26.8 (Odell, Evans, AB) came against the Patriots
- A non-McLaurin WAS WR has yet to score more than 12 DK pts
- KC ranks 31st in both defensive success rate & yds/att allowed to TEs
- TEs vs KC: CLE (7:120) // BAL (6:66) // LAC (5:57) // PHI (11:116:1) // BUF (4:118:1)
- KC has allowed the 3rd most DK pts to TEs
- Top WAS TE each week: Thomas (3:30:1 // 5:45 // 4:42:1) // RSJ (2:19 // 5:41)
- RSJ has 4 & 8 tg in the last two games with Thomas hurt
- WAS RB rush att: Gibson (20 // 13 // 12 // 14 // 20) // McKissic (1 // 4 // 3 // 7 // 2)
- WAS RB targets: Gibson (5 // 2 // 2 // 2 // 2) // McKissic (1 // 6 // 2 // 5 // 4)
- WAS RB total yds: Gibson (108, 73, 104, 75, 72) // McKissic (8, 93, 38, 59, 9)
- Att:TD inside the 5yd line: Gibson (3:2) // McKissic (2:1) // Heinicke (2:1)
- KC has allowed 5 RB rush TDs through five weeks
- KC ranks 32nd in defensive rush DVOA
- Of KC’s 705 rush yds allowed (4th most), just 424 of them have come from RBs (14th fewest)
- A RB has topped 50 rec yds vs KC in three straight: Ekeler (52:1) // Gainwell (58) // Moss (55)
- Outside of Gibson’s 73 yd house call vs BUF, Gibson has just 9 rec for 46 yds
- McKissic has two notable receiving games in four Heinicke starts: 5:83 & 5:44:1